Who Is Ernest Shackleton?


Quick Answer

Ernest Shackleton, who was born on Feb. 15, 1874, and died in Jan. 1922, was an Anglo-Irish explorer. He is best known for his trio of expeditions to Antarctica, most notably the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914 to 1917.

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Who Is Ernest Shackleton?
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Full Answer

Shackleton's first two Antarctic expeditions were actually races to get to the South Pole. However, that quest ended when his Norwegian counterpart, Roald Amundsen, reached it in December 1911. British naval officer Robert Falcon Scott, who oversaw his first expedition, reached it in 1912, only to die on the return journey. Despite falling short, Shackleton was knighted for his grand efforts. In 1914, Shackleton tried crossing Antarctica via the South Pole one last time. However, his ship, Endurance, got frozen in the ice. Shackleton and his men made their way through several miles to a whaling station -- miraculously, without a single loss of life. Shackleton was able to return to England in 1917. His account of the Trans-Antartic Expedition -- also known as the "Endurance" expedition -- was published in 1919 as a book entitled "South." Shackleton looked forward to a fourth Antarctic expedition. However, weakened by years of travel in extremely cold and harsh conditions, he succumbed to a heart attack at the age of 47, while on his ship which was moored on the South Georgia island.

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